Entertainment & Arts

Dizzee Rascal heads up Mercury prize nominations

Dizzee Rascal is among the nominees for this year's Mercury Prize, seven years after winning the trophy for his debut album Boy In Da Corner.

Paul Weller is also in the running alongside The XX, former nominee Laura Marling, indie band Wild Beasts and folk-rock quartet Mumford and Sons.

They are joined by Corinne Bailey Rae, Biffy Clyro, Foals, Villagers, I Am Kloot and the Kit Downes Trio.

The winner of the £20,000 prize will be announced on 7 September.

Previous winners have included Speech Debelle, Elbow, Klaxons and Arctic Monkeys.

The prize is open to UK and Irish acts who have released albums over the past year.

The XX are 5/2 favourites to win, according to Ladbrokes.

Ladbrokes spokesman, Nick Weinberg, said: "The XX look like winners in waiting. They seem to tick the right boxes and there's a growing momentum behind them."

One of the tracks from the three-piece's debut album was used by the BBC during the general election coverage.

Villagers are the 25/1 outsiders.

Jazz trio

It is the third nomination for Dizzee Rascal, who won the Mercury prize with his debut album Boy In Da Corner in 2003.

His latest nomination is for Tongue N' Cheek - he was also in the running in 2007 for Maths + English.

Weller received his first nomination in 1994 for the album Wild Wood. This time around his album Wake Up The Nation has been recognised.

Marling is nominated for a second time for her latest album I Speak Because I Can, having been shortlisted in 2008 for her debut Alas, I Cannot Swim

Bailey Rae's album The Sea deals with the sudden death of her husband two years ago.

Its opening lines, dedicated to her late husband Jason Rae, are: "He's a real live-wire, he's the best of his kind, wait till you see those eyes".

"Making the record has meant a lot to me," she said at the nominations ceremony. "I'm really pleased."

The Kit Downes Trio are an acoustic jazz outfit who are on the list for their album Golden.

Oxford band Foals and Wild Beasts are both nominated for their second albums.

Ayrshire band Biffy Clyro are recognised for their latest offering Only Revolutions.

"That's a particularly wonderful way to start a Tuesday. What a lovely surprise!," the band posted on Twitter.

Villagers' debut album Becoming A Jackal is also included, along with Sigh No More by Mumford and Sons' - the London-based band were formed three years ago.

Manchester's I Am Kloot, who have been together for more than 10 years, are nominated for their fifth album Sky At Night. It was produced by Elbow's Guy Garvey and Craig Potter.

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